For the better part of my life, which is after I had my son, Animikii who is 5 years old now and turning 6 on Halloween... I came to a crossroad of once being on my own, and only concerned with my own wellbeing and shelter... To all of a sudden, having to rethink my own life choices and how they would affect the life growing inside me.
I grew up in a house that was always packed with myself, my twin sister, an older brother, and a younger sister... that always kept both my parents busy. But it wasn't ever just us.. We always had company, or friends over, or someone who needed a place to crash for a while and stayed with us temporarily. That was a very common thing growing up in my world. Taking in people, friends of friends, family members, cousins, aunts, uncles. Whoever. Whoever, was in need of a helping hand... we grew up always extending it out.
So it's not surprise that when I got pregnant, that my family would do the same for me. They encouraged me to not go it alone, and wanted to help me and my son... even before he was born. We literally had a family meeting about it... whether I would or could stay home with him for the first year as he was a baby and just focus on taking care of him.
It was only this encouragement that persuaded me to do it.
I don't know if this is just my own community family experience or if it's like this for other families and cultures. I just know from my own family dynamic that this is what family and community means for us. This is our shelter. This is what provides our family with security in knowing that no matter what, we have each others back, we support one another...
That's not to say that, that decision wasn't easy to make, and easy to live once it was made. It was by far the hardest to do... to rely on family, to surrender independence. But that was only for the time being... It wasn't long before that first year came and went with my son... and IT was amazing, and our family grew closer, stronger, and more resilient because of it. We had our dramas along the way, we had our disagreements, and we learned more about each other.
I wouldn't change a thing either, I love that I have my family support system. That we co-exist together in a world that is readily, easily, and content to live life alone. But why would one want to.
I think your shelter is what you make of it. Whatever the situation maybe or how you perceive it... I don't live alone, I live with my family. We consciously and collectively decided to live with one another. We each do our own part in contributing to our home... Aside from the modernness ways of our living, I feel like this is how our ancestors lived back before colonization occurred, where everyone in the tribe had a duty to provide for the whole tribe to strive and survive... Anyways... I think a lot of that, "It takes a village" applies here...
Apologizes for the rambling of this post, but CHI-MIIGWECHES (Many Thanks) to you for reading it. :)